Mandating organ donation

(2) When a vital, single organ is to be transplanted, the death of the donor shall have been determined by at least one physician other than the recipient’s physician.

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(3) Full discussion of the proposed procedure with the donor and the recipient or their responsible relatives or representatives is mandatory.

The physician should ensure that consent to the procedure is fully informed and voluntary, in accordance with the Council’s guidelines on informed consent.

The following statement is offered for guidance of physicians as they seek to maintain the highest level of ethical conduct in the transplanting of human organs.

(1) In all professional relationships between a physician and a patient, the physician’s primary concern must be the health of the patient. This concern and allegiance must be preserved in all medical procedures, including those which involve the transplantation of an organ from one person to another where both donor and recipient are patients.

The medical profession has pursued living donation because the lives and quality of life of patients with end-stage organ failure depend on the availability of transplantable organs and some individuals are willing to donate the needed organs.

This practice is consistent with the goals of the profession—treating illness and alleviating suffering—only insofar as the benefits to both donor and recipient outweigh the risks to both.

Physicians should make special efforts to present a clear and comprehensive description of the commitment being made by the donor and the implications for other parties to the paired donation during the informed consent process.

(c) Living donation should never be considered if the best medical judgment indicates that transplantation cannot reasonably be expected to yield the intended clinical benefit or achieve agreed on goals for care for the intended recipient.

(2) Living donors should not receive payment for any of their solid organs.

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